Day 190: The Terror of Ammon

Jeremiah 49:1-6

Of the children of Ammon. Yahweh says:
“Has Israel no sons?
Has he no heir?
Why then does Malcam possess Gad,
and his people dwell in its cities?
Therefore behold, the days come,”
says Yahweh,
“that I will cause an alarm of war to be heard against Rabbah of the children of Ammon,
and it will become a desolate heap,
and her daughters will be burned with fire;
then Israel will possess those who possessed him,”
says Yahweh.
“Wail, Heshbon, for Ai is laid waste!
Cry, you daughters of Rabbah!
Clothe yourself in sackcloth.
Lament, and run back and forth among the fences;
for Malcam will go into captivity,
his priests and his princes together.
Why do you boast in the valleys,
your flowing valley, backsliding daughter?
You trusted in her treasures,
saying, ‘Who will come to me?’
Behold, I will bring a terror on you,”
says the Lord, Yahweh of Armies,
“from all who are around you.
All of you will be driven completely out,
and there will be no one to gather together the fugitives.

“But afterward I will reverse the captivity of the children of Ammon,”
says Yahweh.

I come from a time in which great harm was done by terrorists against the United States. The word “terror” almost seems to be sinful in and of itself, but the Bible corrects this error. God brings terror upon His enemies, so terror cannot be evil in and of itself. When terror is brought against those who do good, then it is evil, but terror against those who do evil is not. That should be clear from how the United States decided to destroy terrorists.

After reading through all of the history in the Bible about Israel. It’s interesting to hear God’s thoughts. That’s what we get to do when we read what the prophets like Jeremiah said. One of the big surprises to me is how God talks to Gentiles in such a caring way. The Ammonites were one of those groups of people that were supposed to be removed from Israel’s land. Evidently, Ammon knew this. God makes it clear in this passage, that they were the occupiers because God told them to leave. Now time was up and God was going to completely ruin them. God really didn’t have to spend any time explaining things to them, yet, we read here that God had Jeremiah explain what was going on. They had been living in pride against God and God was going to send them into captivity like Moab.

God also showed His love toward the Gentile nation of Ammon by telling them that they would also be released from captivity someday. Evidently, they were going to have their own land, outside of the boundaries of Israel in the future. Not all Gentiles were to be completely destroyed. God decided to allow some of them to continue on and it appears that Ammon was one of the countries that God decided to give grace to. Ammon’s destruction reminds us that when God tells us to do something, He expects us to do it. If we don’t, we can then expect to be punished.